I’m not buying the Nintendo 3DS

Infendo

Huh. Typing out those words was a bit easier than I thought it would be, especially for such an ardent fanman like myself.

One more time, just to be sure: I’m not going to buy a 3DS.

Here’s why:

Half-baked

The 3DS doesn’t seem finished. Some of the promised pre-installed software isn’t going to be available until May or later. I feel as though Nintendo knows it has this hyper-connected portable that can be wirelessly updated from the cloud at any time, and they’re getting lazy–just like all the other developers and publishers (Bethesda, EA, etc) that have made shipping a buggy product without apology simply because they can update later a common practice in the industry.

Draconian updates and “un-updates”

What Nintendo openly and unabashedly says it will do with content on your 3DS is appaling and unacceptable. That 3D OK Go! music video presently installing itself on reviewer 3DS units? It will be deleted, without notice, at a future date.

“Please note that the “White Knuckles” music video is provided for a limited time and may be deleted from your system with subsequent updates.” read Brian Crecente’s fine print over at Kotaku.

“Eff you, Nintendo,” says me. Nintendo has never been what we could call “online savvy” with its portables or consoles, and that appears to have manifested itself in their latest portable as something truly awful. What a stupid, stupid way to treat your customers.

Soft launch (software)

How ironic, given all the big names and buzz surrounding the 3DS when it was revealed, that the killer app ends up being a series of freely included AG cards. They’re admittedly awesome, and shows potential, but I’m through buying expensive electronics based on potential. I’ll wait. Enough said.

Battery

Abysmal. Every review confirms it. Three to 5 hours’ worth (if that) before it’s back into the cradle for more juice. When it’s charging it takes its sweet ass time getting back to 100%. What fun it will be to game while tethered to the wall by the AC adapter.

Unacceptable and again, half-baked. This will be addressed in the 3DS Lite, I’m sure. Will people wait that long?

Stale form factor

Color me a design snob all you want, but the 3DS is stale. The colors are poor. If white is played out, try silver or platinum or some other similar, safe color. The traditional DS Lite and DSi clamshell design has proven to be unreliable and prone to looseness or breakage. It was not addressed with the 3dS, as reviewers are or anticipate running into the same exact problems.

Again, I’m being a huge snob here, but at least Sony’s ho-hum portables get a somewhat sexy redesign when a massive update like the NGP comes out. The 3DS is stuck in the 2000’s.

3D

3D is in the title, and yet Nintendo is distancing itself from 3D even before the thing officially launches in the U.S.

“We’re moving away from any stance that says if you don’t use the 3-D functionality you can’t play this game,” a Nintendo dev told GameLife.

The point of this system is to introduce 3d, but in the face of a few reviewers’ criticism about eye strain or focus point problems Nintendo is backing off the whole 3D thing even before it launches. I’m pretty liberal, but Nintendo is like the Democrats. At the first sign of opposition they fold and concede ground. This move does not signal confidence.

I’m older

This isn’t Nintendo’s fault. People age. I’m nearly 30. I have a few hours each day to unwind when I’m not working or exercising or eating or sleeping. Unfortunately for Nintendo, there is nothing in the 3DS (or the Wii, besides Netflix at the moment) that has me itching to part with $250 +$40 for a portable and one game. I still enjoy games. I haven’t given up on them in my old age, so don’t read it like that, please—it’s simply that there is no killer app worthy of my hard-earned cash at the moment. That said, the AR cards are hella-neat.

Ad nauseum in concludium

Something with this many flaws and an apparent lack of vision or strategy is not worth my $250 (plus games). If I do get this portable, it will probably be version 2. Maybe. Nintendo’s lost me with this thing so far. I will not be buying the 3DS.

See also: I’m buying the Nintendo 3DS